"Turn of the Century Transportation"
In Glacier National Park, it is a treat if you can arrange for a narrated tour of the park in one of the red buses, aka "the jammers".
Many in the current fleet of Red Buses have been in service since the mid-1930s. The Red Buses were the first authorized motor transportation utility in any National Park.
Here are some fast facts about the iconic Red Buses:
* The color of the Red Buses comes from the Ripe Mountain Ash Berry in Glacier N.P.
* The first transportation in Glacier was by means of four horse coaches of 11 passenger capacity.
* The drivers are called “Jammers” because they could be heard “Jamming” the gears of the red buses going up Going-to-the-Sun Road when the buses had standard transmissions.
The Red Buses originally cost $5000 each back in 1936.
* The Red Buses of Glacier are nicknamed “The Rubies of the Rockies”
* Of the 33 buses on the road today, 17 are from 1936, 11 are from 1937, 4 are from 1938 and 1 is from 1939.
* The Red Buses, on average, transport 60,000 tourist each summer through Glacier N.P.
* In addition to touring guests around Glacier, the buses have also served as evacuation vehicles in times of fire or flooding.
* Ford Motor Company donated over $6 Million to restore 33 buses to keep them in operation.
* Each red bus is estimated to be worth $250,000.